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Katharina G. Foote, Nicholas Rinella, Janette Tang, Nicolas Bensaid, Hao Zhou, Qinqin Zhang, Ruikang K. Wang, Travis C. Porco, Austin Roorda, Jacque L. Duncan; Cone Structure Persists Beyond Margins of Short-Wavelength Autofluorescence in Choroideremia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(14):4931-4942. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.19-27979.
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We studied the relationship between structure and function of the choriocapillaris (CC), retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and photoreceptors in patients with choroideremia (CHM).
Six CHM patients (12 eyes) and four normal subjects (six eyes) were studied with fundus-guided microperimetry, confocal and nonconfocal adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO), near-infrared and color fundus photos, short wavelength fundus autofluorescence (SW-AF), and swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and angiography (SS-OCTA) images. Cone spacing was represented using Z-scores (standard deviations from the mean at that eccentricity). CC flow voids were defined using a threshold of 1 SD below the normal mean.
Cone spacing Z-scores were not significantly correlated with distance from the borders of preserved RPE, determined using either the SS-OCT or SW-AF scans. Cone spacing Z-scores were significantly correlated with CC flow voids and retinal sensitivity. Flow voids were abnormal in regions of preserved RPE and increased progressively from within −2° of the preserved area to +2° beyond the border. Visual sensitivity decreased as CC flow voids increased approaching and beyond the border of preserved structure.
In CHM, cone spacing Z-scores correlated with CC flow voids, and were negatively correlated with retinal sensitivity, suggesting cone degeneration accompanied reduced CC perfusion. Functional cones were found outside the presumed borders of preserved outer-retina/RPE as defined by SW-AF, but not outside the borders determined by SS-OCT. The use of SW-AF to identify the border of preserved structures may underestimate regions with cells that may be amenable to treatment.
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